Developer to monitor orchard toxins

April 29, 2006|By JENNIFER FITCH


Representatives of a Wyomissing, Pa., developer assured Washington Township, Pa., officials on Friday that conditions will be closely monitored as crews move soil contaminated with arsenic and lead at an apple orchard on Old Forge Road.

Carlino Development Group agreed to provide a PowerPoint presentation to the public at a 7 p.m. workshop meeting May 10.

The supervisors and residents have expressed concerns about toxins spreading to the water and air as 6 inches of soil are scraped off and mounded at the site prior to construction of approximately 500 homes for the Thornhill Development.

"If it's dusty, they're not going to work," Township Supervisor Carroll Strum said after Friday's meeting.

An inspector with RT Environmental Services of King of Prussia, Pa., will be on site during the process and conduct soil tests each day, Sturm said.


"He'll be keeping a daily engineering log, and he'll be directing all the (activities) on site," Sturm said.

RT Environmental Services has done similar work on several sites, according to Sturm.

"They've done sites that are more of problems than this, and they've done ones that are less," he said.

This is the first time an apple orchard with contaminated soil has been developed in the 15-county southcentral region of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, spokesman John Repetz said.

The DEP approved a report and action plan created by RT Environmental Services, Repetz said.

Carlino Development Group has plans for a mix of single-family houses, apartments and town houses extending to the Woodcrest Development, Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

Sturm said the developer will soon submit plans for a water line, while also seeking final approval for the first phase of construction.

"They're going to test the front yard and backyard of every (lot)," Sturm said. "There's going to be a lot of data."

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